A mobile chicken coop is sometimes called a chicken tractor. It’s a portable housing unit for chickens with direct access to grass. These coops are convenient because you can move them around your backyard. Let’s explore some design ideas and DIY mobile chicken coop plans.
DIY Mobile Chicken Coop Plans
1. DIY Chicksaw – Abundant Permaculture
When you build a Tiny House (for humans), every piece of furniture is multipurpose to save space. So your stairs double as drawers, your ladders may be bookshelves, and your couches can be beds. Your portable chicken coop is a tiny house for poultry, so the same rules apply.
In the chicksaw, the door is also a chicken ramp and the rickshaw handles serve as a stand for the roof. This cart-based coop has high wheels so it’s easier to pull. This gives ground clearance in case your birds want to forage in their crawlspace or hide for an afternoon nap.
2. Mobile Chicken Coop Build – BlueBird Homestead
This DIY mobile chicken coop looks pretty bulky. Luckily, the video tutorial includes a shot of the builders moving the tractor, so you know it can be done. They’ve used plywood panels for the solid surfaces and ¼ or 1/8 inch hardware cloth for the open-air sections of the coop.
The hinged plywood roofing is topped with asphalt for waterproofing. The hinges also allow easy egg collection. The coop has a convenient handle for added portability, and the chickens have DIY PVC feeders and waterers which make their chicken chores way more convenient.
3. Lightweight Chicken Coop Without Wheels
Ideally, your DIY mobile chicken coop plan should include wheels. That’s the whole point, right? After all, the wheels facilitate bird migration around the yard! But you do have alternatives. You can construct a lightweight coop that one or two people can safely carry.
In that case, you won’t necessarily need a mesh floor, since that makes it more cumbersome to lift. But that depends on the kinds of wildlife in your area. If you have pests that can dig under the chicken coop and access the chickens, it’s smarter to install those flooring grids.
4. DIY Portable Chicken Coop on Skids – Hen Gear
Logically speaking, a portable chicken coop should be small enough to move around. So it’ll probably house 50 to 60 birds on the higher side but is likely to hold less than ten. That said, if you have a large-scale operation, you have to get creative with mobile chicken coop plans.
Hen Gear has 15,000 chickens that they move every day. And they do it using an actual 4WD heavy-duty tractor. How? They built the chicken coop on a massive greenhouse, but instead of a flat floor frame, they used rounded skis or skids similar to a sled, pontoon, or catamaran.
5. A-Frame Chicken Coop Tractor
You can use chicken tractors in two ways. One, it can be a sleeping space for free-range birds. They roam free during the day then you can shut them in the mobile coop at night, moving it to a more sheltered part of the yard. Two, move it to specific spots for unsupervised grazing.
This is helpful if your neighborhood has predators, so the chickens can enjoy their sunshine and grass while still being protected from attacks. As a bonus, chicken droppings are a good source of manure, so the patches beneath the coop will always be fertile and organic. Nice!
6. How to Build a Chicken Tractor Coop
Depending on your design sensibilities, you may want a hen house that looks more sturdy and permanent. But if you have a lot of land, you may also want to move that coop around. It’s free manure that can rejuvenate a dying pasture during the fallow season of rotation.
Your chickens will enjoy the change of scenery as well. But how do you ensure such a bulky henhouse can move? It’s all in the balance. As you draft your DIY mobile chicken coop plan, place the wheel in the middle of the coop rather than the end. Include a cantilever system.
7. Building a Chicken House – Lady Goats
At first glance, this chicken coop doesn’t seem particularly portable. It looks so … solid! But while its structure is sturdy, its walls are made of lightweight plywood so you can easily move it around. It also has a small footprint which makes it ideal for mobility – and tight spaces.
It works great if your backyard is on the smaller side. And here, it sits on gravel flooring, but you can shift it to a grassy patch when your birds need some greens. This DIY mobile chicken coop plan incorporates a planter, both for aesthetics and for veggies that the birds can enjoy.
8. Mobile Chicken Coop – Four Hens and a Garden
♫ Mama had a chicken ♫ Mama had a cow ♫ Papa built a chicken coop that looks like a cow! ♫ And that simple touch of stylized paint elevates this DIY mobile chicken coop to a whole new level! The black-and-white Friesian cow pattern will camouflage it in the fields.
It may also make your grazing cows comfier so they won’t disturb the birds sharing their pasture. The nesting section is raised so your chickens can rest in the shade when they want to. And the wheels are quite large so they can easily support the hen house while it’s moving.
9. A-Frame Chicken Tractor with Wheels
A-Frames make perfect DIY chicken coop plans because they’re so compact. Their triangular structure uses minimal wood and is mostly chicken wire, offering unmatched portability. The shape is sturdy and easy to lift without hurting yourself. But maybe you just want the wheels.
In that case, you can modify the A-Frame chicken tractor we looked at earlier. This updated design is from the same builder, but she tweaked it to add a pair of wide wheels to one side of the chicken coop. The new design has both sides of the roof covered for additional insulation.
10. Homemade Self-Moving Chicken Tractor – Free-Range People
It’s the little things that make your portable chicken coop stand out. And they matter because sometimes, you’ll have to move it to a visible spot in full view of the neighbors! This coop is a pretty barnyard red and has a curvy silhouette. The covered section is made from plywood.
It’s crucial to keep it light because the coop holds 12 gallons of water. The open section has a framework of PVC pipes bent to form half a cylinder covered with chicken wire. It’s electric, with a solar panel to power the magnetic LEDs, water pump, and remote-controlled wheels.
11. DIY Chicken Coop – Bless This Mess
The main reason for homemade equipment is to save money. And you can deepen your cost-cutting by using recycled items, wood scraps, and reclaimed timber. This might make your chicken coop too heavy to be portable though, so it helps if you keep your hen house small.
This DIY mobile chicken coop plan looks a lot like a backyard kennel, so you know it’s easy to lift. The roofs are made of corrugated plastic, though you should opt for a hazy color to reduce heat exposure. The floor has no mesh, but you can add it if you have rodents nearby.
12. Perfect Portable Chicken Coop – Tim Farmer
Portable chicken coops are crafted from the same basic plan. But you need a few tweaks to accommodate your specific needs. For example, you know they should be light, but this design uses ripped 2 x 6 planks to ensure you can pull the tractor without additional help.
To reduce your tugging effort and keep the coop moving smoothly, the wheel axles have diagonal notches. They keep the coop flat on the ground when it’s parked and suitably raised while it’s in motion. This construction tip is quicker and cheaper than cantilever systems.
13. The Definitive Guide to Chicken Tractors – Happy Chicken
In essence, any chicken coop can become a mobile chicken tractor if you just make it light enough and add wheels. The trick is to use lightweight frames and use hardware cloth or chicken mesh for the bulk of your construction. Hollow PVC pipes are a good option too.
But if you’re using plastic pipes, plan your joints carefully and position strategic anchors so the whole thing doesn’t tip. After all, chickens can get pretty rowdy so you don’t want them to panic and start stampeding during a thunderstorm, or when they smell a predator outside.
14. Emergency Portable DIY Chicken Coop – Sow the Land
Mobile chicken coops are mostly intended to provide fresh greens and bugs for your poultry. But they can also be a handy tool for culling a sick bird or separating an aggressive hen. In that case, you only need a small space that can hold one or two chickens and move around.
This mini DIY mobile chicken coop can be picked up by hand so it doesn’t need wheels. But you can still include some. The second option is larger, intended for geese and turkeys. It has a foot pedal installed which serves as a built-in brake as well as a kick pad for easier lifting.
15. Bantam House – Backyard Chickens
Most DIY mobile chicken coop plans have two wheels. This allows you to tilt the hen house so you can lift and drag it to another location. But this idea has four wheels, allowing you to pull it like a cart. This does mean the total weight of the tractor has to be significantly lighter.
On the other hand, using tougher wheels can let you pack on extra weight. You can construct the wheels yourself or go to a garage sale or junkyard to salvage wheels from kid’s toys. The wheels from a driveable kiddie car, pram, stroller, baby walker, or even a vacuum work well.
16. Epic Egg Mobile Chicken Coop Trailer – Tanner Farmstead
When you’re looking through DIY mobile chicken coop plans, hardware cloth, and chicken wire are useful for no-nail or no-screw construction. It’s much faster to staple them onto the frame. And it’s safer too because you don’t have to deal with sharpened screws and nail tips
That said, this is the first design we’ve seen that’s solid all around. It has a rainwater collection system hooked up to the back that adds a lot of extra weight. But it’s built on a utility trailer chassis with a stiff mesh floor so it can handle the additional mass. It also has solar panels.
17. DIY Upcycled Swing Set Chicken Coop – Jojo Chooks
What other items can you use to make a DIY portable chicken coop? Hardware cloth and/or chicken mesh are a must, though you can also use old grates from fridges and barbeque grills. A swing set makes a convenient base for an A-Frame coop, though it might be heavy.
As for the wheels, you can dismantle old push mowers, wheelbarrows, wagons, or even space savers (those skinny yellow spare tires). Position them strategically or use a diagonal axle notch to secure them. That way, the hen house is easy to lift and lies flat when it’s parked.
18. How to Build the Perfect Mobile Chicken Coop – Libby Flanagan
You can usually pull a DIY portable chicken coop by hand. But for heavier ones, you can install a winch system at the front then use a truck or ATV to tug it around. Also, if you want to load more weight onto your build, you can use a hay wagon or utility cart as the floor base.
These systems are convenient for transportation but the downside is the floor is raised so the coop won’t sit directly on the grass. They do allow chicken poop to slip through and fertilize your farm as it moves. For mobile coops, two wheels are good, but four wheels are better.
19. How to Build a Chicken Coop from Cattle Panels – Natural Blaze
Portable chicken coops don’t always have to be angular. Try this curvy mobile unit with a flexible frame. It has no wheels but it’s still lightweight because it has minimal wooden pieces. Only the door and the floor perimeter are made of timber, topped with cattle panels.
Cattle panels are similar to hardware cloth, but the metal grids are bendy enough to curl into a semicircle. Their gaps are wider so you need to reinforce them with poultry nets or chicken mesh. Drape a sturdy sheet of plastic, tarp, canvas, or greenhouse cover on top of the frame.
Do you know any other DIY mobile chicken coop design ideas? Show us in the comments!